|Date of Birth||December 12, 1897|
|Place of Birth||District of Rainy River, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Mrs Dubord, mother, Middlechurch, Manitoba; WA Weston, CAS, 101 Mayfair Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Trade / Calling||Farmer and chauffeur|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||101 Mayfair Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Date of Enlistment||December 28, 1915|
|Age at Enlistment||18|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||September 15, 1916|
|Age at Death||18|
|Buried At||no known grave/Vimy Memorial|
Although he gave his birth year as 1894 on his attestation papers, George Ellery Dubord was born 12 December 1897, birth registered in the District of Rainy River in northwestern Ontario. His father Jean Baptiste Alphonse Dubord had been born in Trois Rivieres, Quebec, the son of Joseph and Marie Louise Hedwige (Hamelin) Dubord. By the 1881 census, Alphonse, his parents, and some of his siblings had moved to the Selkirk area of Manitoba to farm. George’s mother Isabella (Bella) Park was the daughter of George and Mary (Sinclair) Park, a Metis family with roots in the Red River Settlement/Selkirk/St Clement area where they were also found in the 1881 census.
Alphonse and Bella married on 14 April 1895 in Elm Bay in northwestern Ontario where Alphonse was working as a labourer. Bella, along with some of her siblings, had been residing in nearby Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora). Their first born child was a girl they named Alice, followed by George, and then another son Thomas who was born in Rat Portage in 1900. At some point after his birth the family unit disintegrated, with Bella and the children returning to Manitoba where the children were eventually put in the care of the Children’s Aid Society and/or foster homes. Bella entered a relationship with Archie Halcro and gave birth to children Joseph (1903-1916), Emily (1905), and Greta, birth registered as Annabella, in 1907. It appears that these children also found their way into the foster care system, later assuming the surname of Dubord.
George signed his attestation papers in Winnipeg, Manitoba on 28 December 1915 with his next of kin first given as his sister Mrs Frank Webb (Alice), then changed to include both his mother Bella Dubord who was living in the small community of Middlechurch in East St Paul on the outskirts of Winnipeg, and Mr WA Weston of the Children’s Aid Society of the same address that George gave as his own residence at time of his attestation. George listed his occupation as farmer and chauffeur and had black hair, brown eyes, and a dark complexion. In his military will he named his brother Thomas, in care of Mr Weston, as the beneficiary.
With the 53rd Battalion that had been organized in Winnipeg in 1915, Private George Dubord embarked from Halifax aboard the SS Empress of Britain on 1 April 1916. Suffering from influenza, in May of 1916 he spent two weeks in the Military Hospital at Bramshott. Recovered, he embarked for France in early June and was taken on strength with the 28th Battalion in the field on June 9th.
In the fall of 1916 the 28th Battalion was involved in the battle of the Somme and by the 14th of September had moved up to the front lines at Fleurs-Courcelette. With the 27th Battalion on its right and the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles on its left, the 28th was ordered to attack and take a section of the Sugar Trench along the Bapaume Road with the support of at least three tanks, two that became stuck behind the front line. With so many men there was mass confusion in the trenches but the attack commenced at 6:20 the morning of the 15th, to continue throughout the day. From the war diaries of the 28th for September 15th: although ‘attack successful and objective obtained’, the cost was high for the 28th Battalion with‘our estimated casualties 300 OR, Officers 3 killed, 1 missing believed killed, 6 wounded’. One of the lads killed in action that day was Private George Dubord. First reported missing and later as killed in action, his body was not recovered. From his Canada War Graves Registers Circumstances of Casualty record: ‘During an attack on Courcelette on the morning of September 15, 1916, he was hit in the head by an enemy rifle bullet and instantly killed.’ Along with 11 000 other Canadians who were posted as ‘missing, presumed dead’ his name is inscribed on the Vimy Memorial in Pas de Calais, France.
After the war George’s plaque, scroll, and Memorial Cross were sent to his mother Bella in Middlechurch, while his medals and decorations were sent to his brother Thomas care of Mr Weston in Winnipeg. Thomas, age 16, had enlisted in Brandon, Manitoba in April of 1916 with the 181st Battalion but a week later his age was discovered and he was discharged. He went on to serve with the RCAF in WW2 for six years. Thomas died in Winnipeg in 1966.
Private George Dubord is commemorate on page 80 of the First World War Book of Remembrance located in the memorial Chamber in the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
by Judy Stockham